Thursday, July 27, 2017

Houston Wins A North State Modified Series Thriller

Eureka, CA (July 23, 2017) – After a long three-week break, racing returned to Redwood Acres Raceway this past Saturday for Nor-Cal Automotive Night at the Races. It was a picture perfect day at the 3/8-mile paved oval as the North State Modified Series made their second of three visits to the Acres this season.

Nick Ford set fast time for the California State And Federal Employee’s Credit Union roadrunner division with a 20.461. Andy Savage led the opening lap of the first 20-lap main event which was run in normal fashion. On lap two, Ford moved to the lead, a position he would never relinquish. Jake Keeling and Tim Ratzlaff traded the second position until Daniel Buell took over the position. At the finish it was Ford taking the win over Buell, Keeling, Ratzlaff and Zito.

The second feature was run backward. Bob Ratzlaff led lap one but Tim Ratzlaff took over on lap two. The race was highlighted by a thrilling duel for the lead and the race win between Tim Ratzlaff and Buell. On the last lap, Buell made a charge for the lead going down the back stretch. In the final turn, Ratzlaff suffered tire issues and hit the wall. Buell was able to move past to take the lead and the win. Tim Ratzlaff held on for second followed by Ford, Ratzlaff and Keeling.

Fast time for the Nor-Cal Automotive Legends division was paced by Brad Curtice with a 18.121. Curtice took the trophy dash. He followed that up with a win in the heat which saw an unfortunate incident in turn four when Anissa Curtice hit the wall. Fortunately she was okay but done for the night. The opening five laps of the 25-lap main were led by Daniel Whitley. On lap six, Curtice took over and never looked back. Whitley did all he could to pressure Curtice but never could force a mistake. Curtice took the win followed by Whitley, Brent Mack, Tyler Peach and Mkinzy Uselton.

In the Fortuna Wheel & Brake bomber division, visiting driver, Ron Duke, Jr. set fast time with a 18.651. John Lally won the trophy dash while the heat race was taken by Kolby Jackson. The 25-lap main featured several spectacular incidents. The first occurred in turn three on lap 14, Jim Redd got together with Duke in turn three bringing out the yellow flag. On the restart, Bethany Rapp got into Jackson sending Rapp’s car over the hood of Jackson. Up front, Lally was dominant leading the final 21 laps. At the finish it was Lally winning over Jackson who made a thrilling run through the field in the final handful of laps. Jimmy Sorrels was third followed by Chris Naughton and Kimberly Sorrels.

Brett Murrell was quickest in the Humboldt Hydroponics mini stock division with a time of 18.848. Brian Murrell, Sr. won the dash while Brett Murrell claimed the heat race. The first three laps of the 25-lap feature were led by Scott Taylor. On lap four, Brett Murrell moved to the lead. A restart on lap eight allowed Murrell, Sr. to move to the lead. The father/son duo had a great duel for the win with Murrell, Sr. coming out on top. Brett Murrell took second while Eugene Palmer, Troy Lee and Taylor rounded out the top five finishers.

Qualifying for the Lone Star Junction Thunder Roadsters was led by Paul Peeples, Jr. with a 17.399. Peeples went on to win the trophy dash while Tommy Payne was the heat race winner. Ronnie O’Neil held the lead for the first three laps but the 30-lap feature was dominated by Peeples. He took the lead from O’Neil on lap four and was able to drive away from the field. At the checkered flag it was Peeples winning followed by Payne, O’Neil, Chris Lawrence and Mac Collado.

Charlie Collins was the fastest of the 19 North State Modified Series drivers with a time of 16.267. The winner of the Lucas Oil Dash for Cash was modified veteran, Richie Potts. The invert for the 60-lap feature was four which gave Randy Houston pole position. Darrin Knight briefly moved to the lead at the start from his outside front row position but Houston’s inside line prevailed. A cat-and-mouse game for the lead ensued between Houston and Knight. As the two moved through slower traffic, Houston was able to gain an advantage.

The lone caution flag flew on lap 48 when Orion Mosher spun off turn four. The restart gave Knight and the rest of the field another chance to challenge Houston. Nobody had anything for Houston on the night as he led wire-to-wire to score the victory. Knight held on for second over Collins, Kris Price and Darrin Sullivan.

For more information, please visit Redwood Acres Raceway’s official website,